Firm / Organisation

Fenwick & West LLP

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Chairman: Richard L Dickson
Managing Partner: Rodger R Cole
Number of partners: 113
Number of other lawyers: 260

Firm Overview:
Fenwick & West provides comprehensive legal services to ground-breaking technology and life sciences companies at every stage of their lifecycle and the investors that partner with them. The firm crafts innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions for established and emerging companies on issues ranging from venture capital, public offerings, M&A and strategic relationships, to intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, taxation, antitrust, and employment and labor law. For more than four decades, Fenwick has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become and remain market leaders.

Main Areas of Practice:


Fenwick provides services to technology and life sciences companies at all stages of development, from early startups to mature, publicly-traded global enterprises.

Mergers & Acquisitions:
Fenwick’s mergers and acquisitions practice is one of the premier technology M&A practices in the United States. In recent years, the firm has completed approximately $500 billion worth of transactions representing deals of varying sizes and complexities, including executing significant acquisition programs for leading serial acquirers. The group is continually recognized as a top M&A legal advisor in the US-across all industries by Bloomberg, FactSet and Thomson Reuters. In 2017, M&A Atlas named Fenwick the Technology Law Firm of the Year for the third consecutive year, honoring the firm’s outstanding M&A work for leading technology companies.

Public Offerings & Securities Compliance:
Fenwick’s extensive representation of emerging companies has given it substantial depth of experience in public offerings. To date, Fenwick has handled more than 200 IPOs for technology and life sciences companies or leading investment banking firms underwriting IPOs. In recent years, Fenwick has been continually recognized as one of the top law firms for IPOs and is currently ranked as the #2 issuer-side counsel in the US for technology IPOs over $100 million. The firm also ranks as the #3 issuer-side counsel for technology IPOs in the US and globally by numbers of deals. Fenwick also has an active practice counseling publicly-traded technology companies regarding ongoing corporate governance, disclosure and securities issues.

Strategic Alliances:
For many technology companies the path to financing and commercialization begins with their first collaboration or joint venture with an industry partner. Fenwick lawyers help clients think through the business, intellectual property, tax and other legal issues that arise in their corporate partnering transactions and joint ventures.

Executive Compensation:
As an integral part of the firm’s corporate practice, Fenwick lawyers counsel clients on a wide range of complex employee benefits and compensation issues.

Startup Companies:
Fenwick has advised hundreds of growth-oriented technology and life sciences companies from inception through maturity and currently represents over 800 venture capital and private-equity-backed clients in financing, general corporate, intellectual property and other matters. Fenwick has long-standing ties to over 250 venture capital firms and is ranked in the top tier for startup and emerging companies work nationwide by Chambers USA.

Intellectual Property:
Fenwick delivers comprehensive, integrated advice regarding all aspects of intellectual property protection and exploitation. The firm is consistently ranked among the top firms in California and the US for both intellectual property litigation and prosecution by Euromoney’s Managing Intellectual Property publication. Pioneers of legal innovation, Fenwick lawyers advise clients concerning novel issues under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), domestic and international privacy issues, software and business method patents, evaluating and implementing new business models around open source software, crafting novel technology distribution arrangements and implementing intellectual property audits.

Privacy & Cybersecurity:
Fenwick helps companies of all sizes manage the risks associated with the collection, use and disclosure of electronically stored information, including sales, research, consumer and employee information. Companies rely on the firm to help them balance their ever growing—and increasingly challenging—needs to comply with the seemingly contradictory rules and regulations regarding privacy laws, audits, investigations and litigation while meeting their overall business objectives. The firm’s clients span every industry sector and range from emerging innovators to market leaders.

The litigation group has the range of experience and critical mass to protect client interests in virtually any dispute, large or small. While the firm’s attorneys have extensive litigation experience in a wide range of industries, they have exceptional depth and breadth in the areas of the law critical to technology clients. Fenwick is regularly involved in significant cases involving intellectual property (technology transactions, patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets), employment disputes, corporate governance, securities, antitrust and general commercial litigation. The litigation group has been recognized by Corporate Counsel as one of the Top 10 ‘Go-To’ litigation firms in the US for Fortune 100 companies and consistently receives the highest ‘First Tier’ ranking nationally for IP litigation in the ‘Best Law Firms’ guide released by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers.

Fenwick has one of the nation’s leading domestic and international tax practices. The tax group’s dynamic and sophisticated practice stems from a client base that is represented in every geographic region of the US, as well as a number of countries across the globe, and has included over 100 Fortune 500 companies. In 2017, the firm was named San Francisco and Silicon Valley’s Tax Firm of the Year and US Tax Court Firm of the Year by International Tax Review.

International Work:
Fenwick routinely handles corporate transactions, venture capital financings, licensing transactions and litigation, as well as intellectual property, trademark and tax matters in foreign jurisdictions for their US clients. The firm has particular expertise in the intellectual property issues related to outsourcing. Fenwick represents a growing number of foreign technology companies throughout Asia, Europe and the Middle East on US-related transactions.

The firm’s China practice provides corporate, intellectual property and tax expertise including structuring and financing of China-based businesses, cross-border mergers, acquisitions, and the representation of US companies investing in and doing business in China. Fenwick also has expertise in creating intellectual property prosecution and enforcement programs for US companies doing business in China. With a designated Israel practice group, Fenwick has strong ties with Israeli companies, both public and private. Fenwick has a long history of representing US-based companies on their investments in and acquisitions of Israel-based startups, as well as Israeli startups and companies with Israeli branches in their acquisitions by US-based companies.